Introducing Sensoterra soil moisture data alongside a subsurface drip irrigation system, Justin Shepherd, the owner, gained valuable insights for optimizing irrigation. Even during an enduring summer drought in 2018, Shepherd achieved a remarkable crop yield, exceeding expectations by 3-4 times. With plans to expand the hops field in 2019, smart data from Sensoterra is set to revolutionize his farming practices.
“Sensoterra probes help us understand soil moisture behavior at the root zone, allowing us to adapt to seasonal changes, daily moisture, and growth patterns,” says Justin Shepherd.
While canola and wheat dominate Western Canada’s crops, Shepherd took a pioneering step by introducing hops to meet the craft brewery demand. He allocated 1.3 acres for a pilot hops field with five varieties and implemented subsurface drip irrigation for efficient water usage and system longevity.
Growth in the face of drought
Over the 2018 summer, Canadian farmers suffered from an 8-week drought. In order to set irrigation schedules, Sensoterra probes helped Shepherd know exactly when and how much to irrigate.
“We had a fantastic growing season”
The post-drought harvest resulted in yield that was 3-4 times than expected, and Shepherd attributes it to the data from Sensoterra sensors.
Overcoming the 2018 summer drought, Sensoterra probes played a crucial role in Shepherd’s irrigation decisions, leading to a fantastic growing season and an unexpected yield surge.
The smart choice for IoT
The expansion of IoT as a precision agriculture technique excites Shepherd, who believes that LoRaWAN connectivity is the future of Ag Tech. He envisions tremendous value for farmers who embrace IoT technology, like Sensoterra’s soil moisture probes.
With future plans to expand the hops production, JGL Shepherd Farms is set to supply Saskatchewan craft breweries with locally grown ingredients, a vision to enable all Saskatchewan brewers to brew 100% locally sourced beer.
Discover more about Justin’s success by downloading the PDF and reading a recent article on JGL Shepherd Farms for additional insights.